What is Salesforce Customer 360?

If, like me, you've been hearing about Salesforce Customer 360 for a while but really have no idea what exactly it means, then you're in the right place. Welcome fellow confused friend. Today we shall uncover what Salesforce Customer 360 is and why we need to care.
Let's get started.

It seems to be a whole lot of everything.

The first thing we found out about Salesforce Customer 360 is that, yes, it does seem to include just about everything. According to Salesforce.com,
"...administrators register their various instances of Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud and then map customer records from Service Cloud Person Accounts*, Marketing Cloud subscribers (Data Extension), and Commerce Cloud Customer Profiles into one, unified view of the customer."
That's a whole lot of product. Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Sales Cloud, AND Service Cloud. The idea is that by syncing all of these platforms up together, you're going to avoid duplicate data, confusion of the same customer from multiple products, and ultimately get a clearer understanding of where a customer fits into your entire business process.

What are the benefits?

The most obvious slap-in-your-face benefit is that it syncs everything from multiple Salesforce products together. No more logging into different portals, trying to remember and work out what data is correct and what is not. It also has the ability to handle multiple Salesforce orgs and systems that don't even belong to Salesforce (let's hear it for the third party apps! Whoo!).
By creating a global customer identity that is used across all platforms, you're ensuring that there's no embarrassing out-of-date information that gets sent out, and that you're only using the latest customer info, no matter which product it was last updated in.
If you were already trying to do some funky integration between Salesforce apps, then Customer 360 will be a major benefit to you. It makes customer data management easier and provides you with a single source of truth for your entire sales pipeline (and beyond!).

Why should we care?

If you are a data admin or a cloud admin, and you're already trying to handle multiple Salesforce products, then you should definitely care about Customer 360. Anytime you are configuring those pesky permissions and access, Customer 360 will help you out. Wanting a clear, shared customer identity across all platforms? Care about Customer 360. In conclusion, care about Customer 360 if you are big enough to be looking after a whole heap of Salesforce products - otherwise, acknowledge that's some pretty cool tech and you can look forward to it in the future.